The Diary

Radio’s new golden girl

July 27, 2012

Rising fast in the media firmament is Emma Barnett, former Manchester King David Primary School pupil and Habonim summer camper and now digital media editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Last year, she was the Association of Online Publishers’ digital journalist of the year.

More..

The dial-a-minyan machine

July 27, 2012

Jewish students at Manchester University who want a quiet place to daven a quick minchah can now use a new facility, the Pray-O-Mat.

The converted photo booth, designed by a German artist, has 300 pre-recorded prayers from different faiths accessible through a touch screen.

Students who don’t fancy praying alone can access “the solemn chanting” of a whole Orthodox congregation.

More..

Pianist's praise of Israel

July 27, 2012

All I can say is “Encore” to English concert pianist Peter Donohoe, recounting his first visit to Israel on Norman Lebrecht’s arts blog Slipped Disc.

After the “best airline food” in years on his El Al flight, he found most Israelis “so much friendlier and welcoming” than people he had met elsewhere

He was brought up Protestant but his mother’s mother was Jewish.

More..

BBC baker’s challah howler

July 27, 2012

Paul Hollywood has become a well-known face on TV as one of the judges on the BBC cookery contest, The Great British Bake-Off.

The master-baker who can work magic out of all to do with flour and dough has a new book out, How to Bake.

And worthy of a place among the exquisite breads and fine patisserie is a recipe for our own challah.

More..

Dominic Grieve reveals Jewish ancestry

July 20, 2012

A full house for Friday-night dinner at West London Synagogue last week, where guest speaker Attorney General Dominic Grieve revealed his Jewish ancestry.

His great-grandfather was Sir George Roberts, a philanthropist who made donations to charity under the name “Audax”.

More..

New UK poll: hostility towards Israel drops

July 20, 2012

Hostility towards Israel among the British public has dropped over the past couple of years, according to a survey conducted by foreign affairs think tank Chatham House and Yougov.

Respondents were asked to say which countries they felt favourable and unfavourable towards.

More..

British Olympian honoured in America

July 20, 2012

One of British Jewry’s rare Olympians has been singled out for a special honour by New York’s National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

Ben Helfgott, who captained the British weightlifting teams in the 1956 and 1960 Games, has won the Dick Steinberg Good Guy Award.

More..

Missing Dictionary

July 12, 2012

The British Library, which likes to keep a copy of every UK book, is having difficulty laying hands on a special version of the Oxford schools dictionary, adapted for use in Charedi schools. The one that omits words such as “homosexual” or “prostitute”. Can anyone oblige?

More..

A Soloveichik for Chief Rabbi?

July 12, 2012

Much excitement as rumours began to circulate among UK rabbis this week that the next Chief Rabbi could well be Meir Soloveichik, scion of one of America’s most famous rabbinic families.

The great-nephew of the revered Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveitchik will be visiting the UK in autumn as guest speaker at Lord Sacks’s annual High Holy Day conference.

More..

Intifada at Rada

July 12, 2012

Alon Tiran is the only Israeli studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. As part of the college’s festival, he directed a play, Masked, by his compatriot Ilan Hatsor, in which he cast three half-British, half-Arab actors to play three Palestinian brothers.

More..